Any ASN child can succeed
Your feature of 9 October, “Has inclusion failed?”, makes valid and significant points concerning exclusion, fixed-term and permanent, of children with additional support needs. The figures unfortunately bear them out.
It also shows, however, a negativism, a pessimism and a demonstrable lack of understanding of high-quality, differentiated, quality first teaching.
As a practising special educational needs coordinator in England, SEN teacher and director of Inclusion of wide-ranging experience and almost 40 years’ standing, as well as a national trainer of teaching colleagues, I fundamentally disagree. My direct experience tells me that colleagues have very high, challenging expectations of their ASN students, based on a no-excuses culture and a determination to secure the best possible life chances for them.
My professional philosophy is predicated on the view that any child, with any ASN, can achieve as highly as any non-ASN student in mainstream given the appropriate differentiated support, encouragement and positive whole-school ethos. I find, up and down this country, that teachers do find the time to reflect on their practice to meet need, particularly after an exclusion has shown that the need may have been previously unmet. Meeting teaching colleagues at two national events in the past week, including both days of the TES Special Educational Needs Show in London, has only served to remind me how accurate my perception is.
The feature, sadly, does teachers a huge disservice. Perhaps the balance of views needs to be restored?
Short and tweet
Just reading a very positive article in @TESScotland about our authority use of Twitter (“Don’t be a Twitter quitter, ed tech expert tells schools”, 9 October; read it online at bit.ly/ScotTwitter). Well done, Falkirk Council education establishments!
All Falkirk schools use Twitter to share achievements of their learners. bit.ly/ICTFalkirk. #digilearnscot
Check us out! Of all the schools in Scotland we have the fourth-highest number of followers. bit.ly/TwitterStMs. #sharingourmessage
@StMungosFalkirk: I see we’ve got our work cut out for us to make the Top 10 ;-)
I love that our child’s teacher tweets. It enables us to support learning at home.
We think Twitter gives parents the chance to be a #flyonthewall.
As a parent, I really enjoy reading my kids’ school feed. Much more “live” than a newsletter.
@WestquarterPrim are fantastic, allowing a better pupil/parental/teacher dialogue and reinforcing learning at home.
I have our latest Falkirk tweets playing on screen at headquarters. It’s motivational!
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